Narrative History
Portuguese Air Force

1912 Institute of Portuguese Military Aviation founded with aircraft brought by public subscription. 1914-1915 Army officers flying training with France, Britain and USA. 1917 Arma da Aeronautica formed as separate branch of the Army. 1927 Army aviation considerably expanded and reorganised – now operates practically autonomously under Ministry of War. Late 1937 reorganised and expanded again. 1 July 1952 Army and Navy air arms amalgamated into independent Portuguese Air Force.

Narrative History
Royal Danish Air Force

On 1 October 1950 the Royal Danish Air Force was formed combining the existing Army and Navy air services. In 1970 the Army, Navy and Air Force were placed under a unified Defence High Command. In 2003 the aviation units of the Army were merged into the Air Force as Esk 724.

[To be rewritten].

Narrative History
Finnish Air Force

Several aircraft were presented to the Finnish White Army, for use during the 1919-1920 civil war by Swedish pilots and Finnish observers. This unit was known as the Finnish Flying Corps. A French military mission arrived in June 1919 to help re-organise military forces. In 1920 the Finnish Air Force was created as an independent air arm. In 1924 a British military mission arrived to plan future development. The ‘Winter War’ started on 30 November 1939, and ended on 11 March 1940 when Finland accepted Soviet peace terms. On 25 June 1941, following Germany’s launch of ‘Operation Barbarossa’, Finland declared war on Russia. Offensive operations commenced on 30 June 1941 with German assistance, thus starting the ‘Continuation War’. On 4 September 1944 a conditional ceasefire was agreed between Russia and Finland, and peace negotiations initiated. During the period 2 October 1944 to 25 April 1945 Finnish forces drove the German forces out of Finland. A Peace Treaty limiting the size of the air force was signed on 10 February 1947.

Narrative History

of the French Air Force

December 1909 Army officers begin flying training at civilian schools. March 1910 Etablissement Militaire d’Aviation created to conduct experiments with aircraft. April 1910 formation of Service Aeronautique, a separate air command comprising EMA and balloon companies. October 1910 Aviation Militaire formed as branch of the Army. Massive expansion of AM during First World War. 27 April 1925 start of air policing operations in Morocco (continue until December 1934). 7 December 1928 Air Ministry created. August 1933 AM renamed Armee de l’Air. 2 July 1934 AdlA becomes independent service. 3 July 1940 Vichy Air Force formed under German control. August 1940 Free French Air Force formed : Forces Aeriennes Francaises Libres. 1945 Armee de l’Air reformed from Free French and ex-Vichy units.

[To be rewritten].

Narrative History
Cyprus Air Command

of the Cyprus Air Command

The island of Cyprus gained independence from Britain on 16th August 1960, to become the Republic of Cyprus. The new government initially had no aircraft, but a Dornier was obtained from Germany in 1962 for military liaison use. In 1963 the Aeroporiki Diikissi Kyprou ADK (Cyprus Air Command) was formed with its headquarters in Nicosia. This force was equipped with a small number of light aircraft, and shared a joint command with the air-defence forces of the island and the Police.

The ADK also had two non-flying squadrons under its command – the 419 MPA (Mira Prostasias Aerodromiou = Air Base Protection Squadron) and 420 MPA at Lakatamia AFB and Tymbou AFB bases respectively. Two radar squadrons – 3 MSEP (created in 1964) and 4 MSEP (created in 1966) were also formed (MSEP = (MSEP=Mira Stathmou Elenchou Proidopiisis / Warning and Control Station Squadron), bringing the pre-1974 order of battle to include one flying unit and 4 non-flying squadrons. In 1968 the Police and ADK separated their activities and only two aircraft remained under ADK command: a Beechcraft C-45 (D-6) and, reportedly, a L-21B Super Cub (D-7).

In July 1974, the island was plunged into crisis when Turkey invaded the north of Cyprus, after a failed Greek-inspired coup of the Republic Government and attempts to militarily overthrow Archbishop Makarios, the state leader. With the island’s security forces divided by loyalties and contradicting orders, the small air force of the island remained grounded as Turkish forces invaded the island. The air-defence forces, however, were actively involved in combat action during the invasion, with a substantial number of towed and fixed anti-aircraft guns and a few radars involved in fighting the Turkish Air Force.

The Turkish Air Force suffered only minor losses in its support of the invasion, with a reported 12 aircraft being downed (2 confirmed to friendly fire, one a confirmed kill (F-100) while the majority of the rest remain unclaimed as possible accidents). The Cypriot forces themselves suffered catastrophic friendly-fire, with the accidental downing of a Greek Nortalas transport plane plus the destruction of a further 2 more on the ground by anti-aircraft guns defending Nicosia International Airport.

After 1974 the ADK was disbanded. In 1982 the Cypriot National Guard Air Wing (CNGAW) was revived using aircraft stored since 1974. In the mid-1980’s, an ecomonic revival allowed the the Cyprus Government to order the refurbishment, upgrading and enlargement of the armed forces. This was intended to fend off a perceived future threat of further invasion by Turkey into southern Cyprus, through the self-proclaimed “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” with Turkish occupation forces.

From 1986 the Air Wing received new equipment in the form of Gazelle anti-tank helicopters, Bell-206 Long Rangers and Pilatus patrol aircraft over the course of a few years, while the older aircraft in the inventory, including a C-45 Beechcraft, Piper PA-22 and Dornier Do 27, were phased out.

In 1996, the Air Wing was reformed into the Cyprus Air Force / Kypriaki Stratoitiki Aeroporia, (KSA). In May 2002 the single Aircraft & Helicopter Squadron was split into two Squadrons. A third squadron was established in 2012. Sometime after 2000 the Cyprus Air Force reverted back to its tradional title of Cyprus National Guard Air Command / Ethniki Froura, Diikissi Aeroporias, (DA), or Cyprus Air Command in short.

Army of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Narrative History

of the Army of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

An Army air wing was first formed in 1992, with the a few helicopters and light aircraft. Operations were suspended in December 1995, when NATO enforced a ban on all air activity by the former warring factions. By May 1996 the peace process was well under way and flying resumed.

[To be rewritten]

Narrative History
Republika Srpska Air Force

The Republika Srpska air arm was assembled from aircraft and personnel left behind by the old Yugoslav Air Force, following the disintegration of the Federal Republic, and also others supplied by the Serbian Government. Under the 1995 Dayton peace accord it is allowed to have 21 combat aircraft and 7 attack helicopters.

[To be rewritten]

Narrative History

of the Northern Territory Aerial Medical Service

The Northern Territory Aerial Medical Service was founded in 1934 by Clyde Fenton, a qualified medical doctor who had tought himself to fly. Like the Reverend John Flynn, he could see the potential for providing medical services in the Australia Outback by aeroplane. Unfortunately, Flynn had a policy of not employing doctors as pilots. Undeterred, Fenton raised the money for an aircraft privately and in March 1934 took up the position of Government Medical Officer in Katherine. Here he started an air ambulance service which later grew into the Northern Territory Aerial Medical Service.

Flying his own aircraft, Fenton used primitive airstrips and runways to collect patients and take them back to Katherine for treatment. With no navigational or night flying aids, Fenton was involved in several crashes. The first replacement aircraft was paid for by a government loan, and a second by public donations of the people of Darwin. In late 1937 a new larger aircraft that could carry a stretcher case was provided by the Northern Territory Government.

In May 1940 Fenton was called up for RAAF service. As a consequence, the whole NTAMS organisation was moved from Katherine to Darwin. By now the service had recruited other pilots, doctors, nurses and mechanics. In 1943 the Department of Health of the Northern Territory Government took over the running of the service. Sometime later, the service appears to have been suspended, while aircraft and resources were devoted to the war effort.

In 1945 Jack Slade, a pilot who had served with Fenton in the RAAF, restarted the post-war NTAMS. Flying ex-RAAF DH.84 Dragon aircraft the service resumed operations. NTAMS mostly provided services in the ‘Top End’ northern part of the Northern Territory, while the expanding Royal Flying Doctor Service covered the southern part of the state.

In the 1950s more modern aircraft were obtained and the service became more efficient and professional. In 2004 Pearl Aviation was awarded a ten-year contract to operate four Beechcraft Super King Airs configured as air ambulances for the Northern Territory Aerial Medical Service. Before the ten years had elapsed, the Government appears to have decided to outsource the whole service to a contractor. On 1 July 2010, the New South Wales-based aeromedical charity CareFlight took over the operation on an interim basis. From this date the service was no longer referred to as the Northern Territory Aerial Medical Service. Careflight’s contract was renewed the following year for a full ten years.

Narrative History

of the Royal Flying Doctor Service

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) of Australia is a not-for-profit organsation that provides health care to people who cannot reach a hospital or doctor’s surgery due to the vast distances of the Australian Outback.

A organisation called the Australian Inland Mission (AIM) was founded in 1912 to provide religous support and medical care in the remote parts of Australia. More than a dozen nursing homes and bush hospitals were established by the AIM in its early years. On 15 May 1928 the Reverend John Flynn, a leading figure in the AIM, formed the AIM Aerial Medical Service (AMS) as a initial one-year experiment, based in Cloncurry, QLD. Using an aircraft leased from QANTAS, the services’s first flight took place on 17 May. 50 flights were made in the first year of operations, and sufficent donations and money from community fundraising were received to allow the service to continue well beyond its initial trial year.

In 1934 the Australian Aerial Medical Service (AAMS) was established, applying the Cluncurry model to other parts of the country. Sections were established in Victoria in 1934 and then New South Wales, South Australia and Northern Territory in 1936. Additional bases were also created in Queensland.

The expanding organisation formed an official Federal Council in 1936. In 1942 the service was renamed to Flying Doctor Service, and in 1955 the prefix Royal was bestowed.

Until the 1960s, the RFDS rarely owned aircraft, preferring to allow private contractors to provide aircraft, pilots and servicing. Subsequently, the service began to purchase aircraft and employ their own pilots and engineers.